On a blustery winter morning tragedy struck at Auckland's Domain. Police found the body of former New Zealand Herald journalist Murray Mason face down in a stream.

The sad death briefly exposed a glimpse into a hidden world of Auckland's homeless. Out of sight of the morning joggers, the lunchtime picnickers and the weekend sports teams lives a community loosely governed by a hierarchy, rules and cultural etiquette.

They're bonded by a desire to hide away from the city centre and out of the public eye — and by their fight to survive on society's margins.

Off a well-beaten, leafy track where a parade of spandex figures leisurely jog, a man sleeps in the bush metres from a dead body.

His tent is pitched just deep enough into the thicket of